Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Piece of the Pleistocene, in Florida

Last month we reported on two proposals to develop Pleistocene Parks - one in the United States and one in Siberia - where species long since extinct in those parts of the world would be restored.

While it's not quite the same thing as the proposed "Pleistocene re-wilding", Lion County Safari has been bringing African megafauna face to face with Americans since 1967. Lion County Safari, and other similar endeavors, are in the news because, after almost three decades of almost totally unencumbered encounters between lions and men, they've been forced to build a fence.
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Lion County Safari cites the need "to keep rule-breaking visitors from becoming lunch" as the impetus for the chain-link fence that now separates lions from auto-ensconced tourists.

Too bad. I'd been not-so-secretly hoping that re-introducing African megafauna to North America would exert a certain selection pressure on those dimmer denizens inclined to imagine that cuddling up to a five hundred pound carnivore might make a nice photo-op.

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